I think in many senses business and politics are incestuous and intertwined, for better or worse, but the aspect I have been thinking specifically about recently is how politics hinders business/ growth in my community. My opinions come from observing what is happening in our downtown core and listening to people that either own their own businesses or directly have their hands in the political scene although they are not politicians themselves.
Some of my observations: (These are opinions only, thoughts if you will. I do not have all of the facts, but this should simply serve as a conversation starter)
I am seeing new commercial buildings being built which is than leaving existing commercial space empty in our downtown core, which makes no sense to me because this city depends heavily on tourism and empty space where tourists are does not bring in revenue. Why not create incentives for businesses to fill the downtown core commercial buildings instead of rake them over the coals?
From my perspective, we have a city council that seems to be lacking energy and personality. Why is this important? I believe that energy and personality are important, especially in economic times like this. Energy and personality, when done correctly, can truly mold and shape a community and provide true leadership…lead by example. Passion is where it’s at, let’s get excited people!!
As mentioned above, we have new commercial buildings being built, so they were obviously ok’d by the city, yet we have other projects (from what I hear) that are shovel ready but have been put on the back burner…why? In many of these instances there may be “good” reasons why this is happening, but this conversation needs to happen out loud and in a public forum…there must be compromise and conversation in order to find solutions to problems.
Several years ago, this community seemed to be riding a wave of togetherness, pride, and ambition…so much of this simply “feels” abandoned. Running a government, be it city government or the White House, takes ambition, energy, passion, leadership, and the ability to work for the people and provide real solutions. If what you are doing is not making things better…you MUST do something different.
At the end of the day, the goal of business and politics is to make money…but I believe strongly that government (again, all levels from city to national) MUST work WITH small business and remove the handcuffs. If you want a thriving community, get the people involved. If you want a thriving community, make the people feel ownership in what is happening. If you want a thriving community, lead by example and show a positive, energetic attitude.
As with most things, change must start with the top and go down, it is quite difficult to begin change at the bottom and have that reach the top. And change is as simple as an attitude adjustment. This is all quite pie in the sky I know, but working together is not as hard as they make it seem. We each have a voice, and change can start by listening and understanding. Change can begin with perspective, seeing through the eyes of others. Change is possible…it happens every day. When change is needed, yet does not happen, it is usually because change is not wanted.
But I am here to say, to my community, and the world, change IS needed…whether you WANT it or not!
Side note: Just to reiterate, I am not pointing a finger at any one person, a prosperous community can only be achieved by all the people in that community working together for common good via communication, listening, and compromise. Cheers!